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Improve Your Daily Mental Health

May 8th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Mental health plays a huge role in your overall health and well-being. It affects everything, including how we think, feel and act, and helps determine how we make healthy choices and cope with stress.

Because it’s such a crucial component of your health, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. Here are five simple ways to do so every day:

  1. Express gratitude. Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.

  2. Get exercise. You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising regularly can benefit your brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.

  3. Spend time outdoors. Getting outside, especially when it’s sunny, can greatly improve your mood, which in turn, benefits your mental health.

  4. Be kind. Helping others and being kind not only helps the receiver of the act, but can also help you. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy—holding the door or giving a compliment can go a long way.

  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigued individuals typically experience drowsiness, mood changes, loss of energy and appetite, headaches, and a lack of motivation, concentration and alertness. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.

Don’t Let Tax Filing Season

April 5th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Don’t Let Tax Filing Season Get the Best of You

The April 15 deadline to file your 2018 tax returns will be here before you know it. If you’re like many Americans, hearing the phrase “tax season” can induce stress—and for good reason. Filing your taxes can be confusing, but, with the help of a tax professional, it doesn’t have to be. In addition to contacting a certified tax professional, review the following information.

How to File

Many people elect to file their tax returns electronically. This can be done in a variety of ways, including using tax-preparation software, consulting a tax return professional or using the IRS’ Free File software, if you qualify.

Forms to Include

If you are filing with a paper form, there are certain documents you must be sure to include. Required forms include the following:

  • A copy of your W-2 for each of your employers over the last calendar year
  • A copy of Form W-2C (a corrected W-2 form), if received from your employer
  • A copy of Forms W-2G and 1099-R, if federal income tax was withheld

Next Steps

Remember, tax filing doesn’t have to be stressful. Don’t wait until the last minute to start preparing. For more information on how to file, what forms to include, credits you qualify for or any other filing-related questions, please visit the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant tool.

forms include the following:

  • A copy of your W-2 for each of your employers over the last calendar year
  • A copy of Form W-2C (a corrected W-2 form), if received from your employer
  • A copy of Forms W-2G and 1099-R, if federal income tax was withheld

Next Steps

Remember, tax filing doesn’t have to be stressful. Don’t wait until the last minute to start preparing. For more information on how to file, what forms to include, credits you qualify for or any other filing-related questions, please visit the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant tool.

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Don’t let Allergies Bring You Down

March 1st, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. In particular, springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. As plants begin to bloom and neighbors start to cut their grass more frequently, allergy sufferers nationwide start sniffling and sneezing. What’s more, mold growth blooms both indoors and outdoors, making it almost impossible to escape allergy triggers. 

Spring Allergy Alleviation Tips

To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
     
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
     
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
     
  • Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit skin exposure and dust and chemical inhalation.
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  • Vacuum twice a week.
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  • Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
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  • Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Treating Allergies

Treatment for most allergies is available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Talk to your doctor to find out what treatment method is right for you. If your allergy symptoms are severe or chronic, you may need a series of allergy shots. Contact your physician or allergist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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Reduce Your Stress

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 1 in 3 women has a form of cardiovascular disease. And, heart disease is the leading cause of hospital stays for men in the United States. Due to the prevalence of the disease, the AHA recognizes each February as American Heart Month in hopes of raising awareness about the disease and how to prevent it.

Stress and Heart Health

While there are risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are many things you can do to maintain your heart health. One of those things is to reduce your stress.

When stress is excessive, it can contribute to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure. If high blood pressure goes untreated, it can result in heart disease.

Reducing Your Stress

Taking steps to reduce your stress will improve your overall health. Try these tips:

  • Plan and prioritize your most important responsibilities.
     
  • Listen to relaxing music to help you calm down.
     
  • Take time off from work to clear your mind.
     
  • Exercise regularly to get your blood and endorphins flowing.

When to Seek Help

If the stresses in your life become more than you can bear or manage with these simple techniques, consider seeking professional assistance. A knowledgeable professional will be able to work with you to devise time management skills and stress-reducing techniques.

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Eat Well, Live Well: Recipe Book

January 3rd, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well
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Beware: New Year = New Fad Diets

January 3rd, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Jan. 1 signals a new calendar year, and for many Americans, a “new year, new me” mentality. In fact, according to Business Insider, getting in shape is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States. While making lifestyle changes, as approved by a doctor, is not a bad thing, turning to a fad diet to achieve a resolution of getting in shape is not ideal or healthy.

What’s a fad diet?

Fad diets typically promise quick weight loss, oftentimes through unhealthy and unbalanced dieting. A diet can be considered a fad if it:

  • Claims to help you lose more than 1-2 pounds per week
  • Promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program
  • Bases its claims only on “before and after” photos
  • Limits your food choices and encourages you to only eat a specific set or type of food

What are the dangers of fad diets?

Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight-loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.

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Your Workout Plan

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Don’t Let Cooler Temperatures Derail Your Workout Plan

If you find it harder to keep up with your workout program as the temperatures drop, you’re not alone. Every year, many Americans find it increasingly difficult to remain committed to their plan as the holidays, shorter days and less-than-ideal weather create obstacles.

Whether you’re a gym-goer or outdoor exerciser, there are simple ways you can overcome the winter obstacles and stay on track with your workout plan.

  • Acclimate to colder weather by warming up inside. If you’re an outdoor exerciser, try doing your warmup inside. By doing so, you’ll raise your body temperature and already be warm before you step outside.
     
  • Prep for your next day the night before. If you’re an early morning gym-goer, try getting everything you need for the next day together the night before. This way, all you need to do when your alarm goes off is get up, get dressed and go to the gym.
     
  • Have a backup plan. Even the most dedicated exercisers will lose their motivation. That’s why it’s essential to have a backup workout plan that you can do at home. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Aim to have three or four full-body workouts ready for when you need them.
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Holiday Recipes – Substituting Fats

November 5th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Makeover Your Holiday Recipes by Substituting Fats


Butter, oils and other fats can add flavor to your favorite recipes, but they can also add many calories. They act as a barrier so flour does not absorb as much water to give your dishes a moist, tender feel. There are many ways to reduce the fat without sacrificing taste; the trick is to replace fats with foods that add creaminess without cholesterol.

Will substituting the fats change how my food tastes?

Substituting fat in your favorite recipes may not give them the same texture, but it will be close. In addition to lower fat content, many of the substitute ingredients will add more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein to your recipes.

How can I get started substituting?

To experiment, start by substituting one-third of the fat from the recipe and then increase or decrease to your desired likeness. For baking, use ? cup applesauce or fruit juice and ? cup butter instead of 1 full cup of butter. Instead of 1 cup of heavy cream, use 2 tsp. cornstarch whisked into 1 cup of fat-free milk.

Now that you have the basics, it’s time for you to try it out. With the holidays right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to makeover your beloved (and maybe not the healthiest) recipes.

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Myth Busted

July 10th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Myth Busted: Sweating More Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Burned More Calories

Many people wrongly believe that how much you sweat indicates how effective your workout was. How much you sweat during a workout is due to a variety of factors such as weight, gender, age, genetics, temperature and even fitness level.

For example, men tend to sweat more than women, younger people tend to sweat more than older people and fit people tend to sweat more than those who are less fit.

So remember, don’t use sweat as an indicator for how intense your workout was. Instead, track your heart rate, level of muscle soreness and amount of progress seen to evaluate whether or not your workouts are effective.

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